Best Book You Read This Year?

runsonmagic

Ostrich
Merry Christmas, everyone.

With the holidays and new year approaching, I've been looking back on this past year, and I realized... I read a lot of books. Piles of them. But there were only a few that stood out to me this past year, so I wanted to ask the forum...

What was the best book you read this past year?
 
Read 10 this year. Best by far Lonesome Dove. Currently reading Atlas Shrugged but wont finish it till next tear. Best non fiction was Mastery by Robert Greene.
 
My brain freezes when I try and answer these questions. But with the help of my Amazon purchasing history for 2013 I should be able to answer it.

It seems I ordered 168 books from Amazon this year.

Here are the books that stood out:

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UNDISPUTED TRUTH - MIKE TYSON

The Org: The Underlying Logic of the Office
Fisman, Ray

Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry
Robertson, David

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life
Adams, Scott

The Everything Store
Stone, Brad

The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia
Suits, Bernard

Who Owns The Future?
Lanier, Jaron

Logical Properties: Identity, Existence, Predication, Necessity, Truth
McGinn, Colin

Basic Structures of Reality: Essays in Meta-Physics
McGinn, Colin

Mindsight: Image, Dream, Meaning
Mcginn, Colin

Broke: Who Killed the Middle Classes?
Boyle, David

Truth by Analysis: Games, Names, and Philosophy
McGinn, Colin

Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking
Dennett, Daniel C

Kamikaze Economics: A Story of Modern Japan
Rands

Selling Hitler: The Story of the Hitler Diaries
Robert Harris

A Companion to Marx's Capital: Volume 2
Harvey, David

-----------------------------------------------

As I look over the Amazon list. I could mention more - but right now these seem to be the books thast most jumped out at me.

I had a great year with philosophy. The Colin McGinn books (and the Daniel Dennett book) are the most interesting books on philosophy I have ever read. I am still sludging through some works on Marx. Slow but seady progress. And often makes for the most intense and difficult reading experience I have ever had.

But for me - the most enjoyable book of the year was Mike Tyson's autobiography. But another strong contender was 'Kamikaze Economics: A Story Of Modern Japan' which was a really interesting look at the culture and workings of the Japanese economy (which seems reminiscent of the Soviet Union). That book was a real favourite for me since it was a surprise package. And for me there is nothing more fun that stumbling across a great book.

Anyway - it is hard to look back since I am really excited about the books I have lined up for order in January. I always seem to be more exicted about the books I am about to read. Than I am about the ones I have read. It is just such a fascinating and compulsive journey.

Here is the list of books I am going to get in January and February:

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Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Economics I Learned from Online Dating
Paul Oyer

On the Wealth of Nations
P. J. O'Rourke

The Theory of Business Enterprise
Thorstein Veblen

Owning the Earth: The Transforming History of Land Ownership
Andro Linklater

The Growth Illusion: How Economic Growth Has Enriched the Few, Impoverished the Many, and Endangered the Planet
Richard Douthwaite

Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works
A.G. Lafley, Roger L. Martin

The Dao of Capital: Austrian Investing in a Distorted World
Ron Paul (Foreword), Mark Spitznagel (Author)

Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas
Natasha Dow Schüll

What Everybody Really Wants to Know About Money
Frances Hutchinson

Monetarism Under Thatcher: Lessons for the Future
Gordon T. Pepper

The Undercover Economist Strikes Back: How to Run or Ruin an Economy
Tim Harford
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Forgot to mention the Arnie autobiography.

And a book called 'The Zurich Axioms' which was an excellent investment book. The advice in there is different to most of the other advice I have seen.
 

Checkmat

Pelican
First of all, I just want to say that if it wasn't for the RooshV Forum I wouldn't have read nearly as many books as I did in 2013. I discovered the forum at the end of 2012 and I've been coming here daily ever since.

I read 30 books in 2013, the most I've ever read in a year ever in my life. I also got more notches than ever before in a year and banged the hottest girl I've ever had.

I'm still very green in game but I just wanted to give a huge shout-out to everyone on here for their support and being part of the forum. It truly is helping me become a better man.

So anyway of the 30 books I read my two favorites were:

Fiction:
a tie between The Godfather and A Storm of Swords





and non-fiction:
The War of Art
 

Architekt

Ostrich
Godfather and the War of Art are on my reading list for 2014

Hard to choose a favourite book from this year (especially since I know for a fact that I'm forgetting several titles), but Hunter S Thompson or George Orwell probably produced it.

Next year I'll be keeping track of what I'm reading and even reviewing books I've read. I have about 40 or so lined up that I'd like to read next year, and a whole heap more to add to that list if I get the chance. Reading has definitely regained its status as an important part of my life again. I'm amazed that I forgot how great it was
 
I honestly don't think it is anything to be proud of. I don't actually think reading makes you smarter. I only do it because it is enjoyable. I only mention the large number of books I read so that I can tell you that in my experience the 'benefits of reading' are probably overrated.

Most of the really smart people I know rarely read a book. Just one of those things, I guess.
 
Also - I probably read about 100 books this year.

Alot of books I buy turn out to be a dissapointment. So I put them to one side - to try and finish at some later date.

And other books are great. But I am not quite in the mood for tackling them just yet. This often happens with philosophy books.

So - on average I seem to start and actually finish about 100 books a year. So alot of the books I buy still sit around waiting to be finished/started.

It is quite neat since it means I can walk round my house - and it is like a bookshop in terms of books that I want to pick up and read but haven't had a chance to do so yet.
 

samsamsam

Peacock
Gold Member
cardguy said:
I honestly don't think it is anything to be proud of. I don't actually think reading makes you smarter. I only do it because it is enjoyable. I only mention the large number of books I read so that I can tell you that in my experience the 'benefits of reading' are probably overrated.

Most of the really smart people I know rarely read a book. Just one of those things, I guess.
Well, I always appreciate your informed comments. Personally, I do think reading makes you smarter. Maybe not in the direct measurable IQ sort of way, but introducing new thoughts/ideas that can then be incorporated into your current knowledge set can be a good thing. I think life is about learning and growing. As my friend put it, "the day you stop learning is the day you start dying." And I agree with that. Granted, maybe we need to take what we learn and apply it to a task to create rewards/achievements. But sometimes, just the joy of learning is its own reward. I know you don't need any validation from me, but still I respect that those who are constantly learning. Could be about anything(with some exceptions like gossip, and which stars are wearing what and that sort of crap).
 
I know you guys are not fans of science fiction. But I just finished Childhood's End a few days ago. And I must say it is a superb piece of literature. I usually read about 25-35 books a year 80% of those being old sci-fi. Anyway should check it out despite it's sci fi genre. I have found that it has a lot of powerful messages regarding hedonism and post-scarcity economics.
 

Mikev75

Robin
Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem.

Kind of a mystery, but not exactly. A car service is the front for a detective agency which is the front for some low level mafia activities.

The narrator has Tourette's. His tics come out in the writing. Often very funny. Touching in a weird way.
 
@samsamsam - totally agree that 'the day you stop learning is the day you start dying'.

At the end of each day - I feel it is a wasted day if I haven't added something of use to my pool of knowledge. It could be finishing a book, buying a new one, reading a good and well written article, discovering an interesting new magic trick (I am a magician), discovering a new writer or blogger who is worth looking into - or something like that.

My brain actually has a dull ache if I have gone an entire day without coming across something of genuine interest. On a busy day - it can even just be the mental stimulation of reading some good posts here on the forum.
 

HonantheBarbarian

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain



Riveting, honest and very hard to put down. I still have like 20 pages to go before ive finished it and I love it so far. If you're into food or the culinary world at all then this book is a must.

I dunno if its the best ive read in 2013, but its the most recent so i'll post it here. I definitely want to check out the Mike Tyson autobiography as ive heard real good things so far.
 

Lucky

Pelican
Gold Member
The best non-fiction book would have to be the one I just finished: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer. The entire saga of Hitler and the Nazis compiled into one huge book was captivating and had an incredible amount of detail. Possibly the longest book I've ever read.

Another good book I read this year was Emotional Vampires by Albert Berstein. I first saw it recommended on therawness website. That book gave me insight and caused me to re-evaluate various character traits and how to deal with them.

Best fiction book purely for entertainment value was The Average American Marriage by Chad Kultgen. I read The Average American Male back in ’07 when it first came out and this is the sequel. The dreary descriptions of marriage and how the narrator describes his day to day life are hilarious if not depressing. It really made me think what a marriage is worth and whether banging a hot young intern might be worth risking it all.

Other books I read this year:

The Inferno by Dante, John Ciardi translation


The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker


The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, David Wyllie translation


Meditations on Violence by Rory Miller


Men on Strike by Helen Smith


I Wear the Black Hat by Chuck Klosterman


The Revolution Was Televised by Alan Sepinwall


Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein


A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn


Blink by Malcolm Gladwell


Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell


The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
 

Seth_Rose

Pelican
Gold Member
I really picked up reading the last few months. It's hard to pick a favorite, but here are a few that stood out:

-The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
-The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
-The Lincoln Deception by David O. Stewart
-Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

I think the Brothers Karamazov has to take the cake though. It was a long and powerful (no pun intended) book. It really gave me new perspectives on Christianity, good vs. evil etc.

The Mike Tyson autobiography seems interesting, I'll have to check it out.
 

runsonmagic

Ostrich
cardguy said:
My brain freezes when I try and answer these questions. But with the help of my Amazon purchasing history for 2013 I should be able to answer it.
Haha, I had to do the same thing. I'll buy a book the moment it interests me, read it a couple months later, and come back to only a few.
 
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